There Is No God - Part I
TING is an unregistered trademark of ZayZayEM. Don't you dare steal it (or show me that someone else has used it first).
Well, I was going to take a few more days rest from the blogosphere, but I've just got a heap of newfound non-spirirituality surging inside of me that I have to share (sorry I was raised pseudo-evangelical, old habits...)
So here's a handout to some of the godless who do accidentally make it here (Pharyngula is known to boost my readership by about 300% at times)
Yesterday ABC screened the first part of Root of All Evil? and I can't say I'm particularly impressed. And I'm not talking about the title, with the question mark included, it strikes me as the perfect balance of thought provoking controversy and meaning that the documentary entails.
To me Dawkins doesn't come off as the intellectual, he just seems a hard-assed atheist with too little knowledge of actual theology and a blazing sense of naivity. I criticised his interview with Ted Haggard (if only we knew the truth back then though... oh the hilarity) where it just appeared to loggerheads involved in cock measuring contest, but Dawkins still afraid to pull down his zipper. Haggard is calling Dawkins arrogant for claiming that if only Haggard knew the science he knew and that it's totally rude, but now, if Dawkins had read the Bible as Haggard and had a deep intimately hardcore knowledge of God like Haggard, Dawkins would see his own arrogance. Haggard himself is obviously also full of himself. It's not to hard to notice, but Dawkins doesn't (at least in the documentary cut) reply. Maybe it's too obvious to point out the almost cringing hypocrisy, or maybe it's that Haggard has a point, Dawkin's does come off a little arrogant, maybe with the best intentions, but arrogant nonetheless.
He seems like a little boy who has just found out Santa Claus isn't true - but also knows he will still get presents - but has decided to make sure all the other kids at school know it. Sure he's right. But are the other kids prepared to know it? And is Dawkin's prepared enough to make his arguments?
Dawkins lack of preparation comes off most startling when he targets an American born Jewish Israeli settler who converted to Islam in an attempt to get an moderate/understanding view on the whole Middle East religious turmoil. Yousef al-Khattab, formerly Joseph Cohen is anything but moderate. Dawkins quickly, and to his own disappointment quickly realises that here is man who "has willingly handed himself over to irrational fundamentalism" (or something like that). Yousef is of the belief that one day soon Muslims will rule the Middle East, one day later the world, and Dawkins better do something about the outrageous way "his (UK?) women dress". Dawkins responds appropriately, but in a slightly stuttered way that belies his stereotypically stuffy intellectualistic British arrogant/naive outlook.
Dawkins point is overall that dogmatic, indoctrinous religious belief is a negative influence on modern society; and he rams it home with some very good points. But it just seems a bit rushed and unprepared and all to badly produced. It's just not a good engaging personality in this documentary. PZ is going to really hate me ... it might even be an issue of "framing"...
Oh... and I'm allergic to squid...
(Yes this is a part of a series)